New Delhi: India, which currently produces less than 2 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power plants, is aiming to increase its nuclear power generation capacity by over three times in 10 years, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) told Parliament Wednesday.
As of January this year, the installed nuclear power capacity (which is the current nuclear power capacity) is 6,780 megawatt (MW) — which is about 1.84 per cent of the total installed capacity of 3,68,690 MW.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for the DAE, said the percentage of energy from nuclear power plants is proposed to be increased by augmenting the installed nuclear power capacity.
“In the short term, the existing nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW is proposed to be increased to 22,480 MW by 2031 on progressive completion of projects under construction and accorded sanction,” Singh said in a written reply.
Within the next five years, a capacity of 5,300 MW is proposed to be added on progressive completion of nuclear power plants at Kakrapar in Gujarat, Rawatbhata in Rajasthan and Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, the minister added.
In-principal approval obtained for 10 new projects
Singh also informed Parliament that ‘in-principle’ approval has been obtained from the Atomic Energy Commission for future uranium mining operations in India for 10 new projects.
These include Rohil Uranium Project in Rajasthan, Kanchankayi Uranium Project in Karnataka, Jajawal Uranium Project in Chhattisgarh, Chitrial Uranium Project in Telangana, and Expansion of Tummalapalle Uranium Project, Andhra Pradesh.
This apart, two new mining projects have also got approval in Jharkhand, a state which already has seven uranium mines at present. The two new approved projects are Banadungri Uranium Mining and Ore Processing Plant Project, and Garadih Underground Uranium mining Project.
Among the seven uranium mines in Jharkhand, three mines — Narwapahar, Turamdih and Banduhurang mines — have been given in-principle approval to augment production capacity.
“The pre-project activities for these projects such as obtaining statutory clearances, land acquisition, site development, and carrying out of R&D phase for formulation of the detailed project reports have been undertaken and are in different stages of execution,” Singh said.
More nuclear reactors
In January this year, Singh had informed the Rajya Sabha there are nine nuclear power reactors, which are targetted for completion by 2024-25.
In addition, 12 more nuclear power reactors have been accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for installation by the government in June 2017. Thus, 21 nuclear power reactors, with an installed capacity of 15,700 MW, are under implementation, envisaged for progressive completion by the year 2031.
This apart, five sites in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, have been accorded ‘in-principle’ approval by the government for setting up more nuclear reactors in future, Singh had said.